Kudos to Stanford; stem cell agency should take heed

Published on

Stanford University’s School of Medicine has just taken a huge step to build trust in its 1,200 physicians and faculty.  It will post online their medical- and research-related consulting activities with business.

California’s stem cell agency should take notice and follow the private university’s example.

Stanford’s action puts it  in the forefront of a movement to increase transparency in medicine and biomedical research. Cleveland Clinic was the first institution to make consulting relationships public.

Under Stanford’s policy Stanford  consulting payments for speaking or other honoraria of $5,000 or more would be listed.  Also posted "will be any companies from which the researcher or clinician has the right to receive royalties for inventions or discoveries; in which the person holds equity as a result of activities as a founder, inventor or consultant; and for which he or she serves as a director or holds other fiduciary offices."

Philip Pizzo, MD, dean of the medical school told Stanford University’s News Service:

"Industry collaborations are critical to furthering research efforts and innovative patient care, but at the same time, concerns over these activities are eroding the public trust. I hope that steps to increase transparency will resonate with those we serve, educate and work with—and reinforce that trust."

It is an important step in the right direction.  I’d only suggest that all honoraria and consulting fees be listed.  If you take $4,999 here and $4,999 there, pretty soon you’re talking about real money…

Dr. Pizzo, is one of the members of the Independent Citizens Oversight Committee, the board of the California stem cell agency.  I’d like to see him push to implement the same sort of transparency there.

Right now the scientists who review grant applications are not required to publicly reveal their economic interests.  Until they are, claims of transparency at the public agency are empty rhetoric put to shame by a private institution.

Consumer Watchdog
Consumer Watchdoghttps://consumerwatchdog.org
Providing an effective voice for American consumers in an era when special interests dominate public discourse, government and politics. Non-partisan.

Latest Videos

Latest Releases

In The News

Latest Report

Support Consumer Watchdog

Subscribe to our newsletter

To be updated with all the latest news, press releases and special reports.

More Releases